On Feeling Drained and “Thin Places”

I’ve been felling drained an awful lot these days…I have bursts of energy, where I can get things done around the house, deal with my own emotions, and catch up on the things that need catching up on. Even now, I have another post in my drafts on our day without screen media (TV and Internet), and to my surprise it’s turning out to be quite emotionally charged. I gave up on getting that one out tonight because I just don’t have the energy for it right now.

I think, like most people in my neck of the woods, I’m finding this winter particularly long and hard. Where we usually have Chinooks that blow warm air in to melt even the most generous snow coverings throughout the coldest months, this winter they just have not been blowing as strong or as regularly as they usually do. March is not looking much better so far.

We’re all longing for spring, and it shows on the faces of everyone I meet. It may just be that I’m projecting my own feelings onto others, but I’m finding that for everyone around me, even conversation seems to take more energy than we all have right now.

I’m sure everyone says this…but right now, I am clinging to Psalm 42, whose refrain is thus:

Why, my soul, are you downcast?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.” (Psalm 42:5, repeated in verse 11)

I suppose we’re all in an appropriately contemplative mood for Lent, at least. (Can you believe it’s already Ash Wednesday this week?) Lord, I am so ready for the renewal that comes as we come through Lent and Easter rings out its salvation call. On that note, I’m hoping we can make it out to our college town and our dear little church for at least one of the Lenten services. I particularly want to be there, because to me that little town has always been a “Thin Place.”

In Celtic tradition, Thin Places are locations where mortals can feel more closely the immortal world. (Here I must mention the conversation I had with one of my sisters-in-law, where we sat out on our roof soaking up sunshine and feelings of blessedness as she introduced me to the concept of Thin Places.) While there probably isn’t much in Biblical Theology that one could point to as evidence of such places, to me it makes sense that we would at least feel that way about certain places. So whether it is a purely psychological phenomenon caused by my own memories and associations or whether it is something more, I feel closer to God in “our” little town. Whenever I am visiting there, especially when I can visit our church, I feel renewed.

In any case, though I gaze through mental exhaustion and a spiritual fog, I feel there are good days coming, days of renewal and hope. So, I’ll raise my little glass of wine to brighter days ahead.

For I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.

2 thoughts on “On Feeling Drained and “Thin Places”

  1. Katrina MacWhirter says:

    One of my favoured passages, though I suppose it’s one of everyone’s. How I miss my Thin Places. I find the only such places I’ve found lately are created when certain people come together.

    And yet, when you enter a Thin Place, it’s strange how certain you feel they can never be left behind– the same way golden afternoons negate the possibility of sunset. In the end, of course, the sun will leave, and our lives move us on to other places. But yes, as they say, I know the sun exists even at midnight (it’s two in the morning that starts to give me trouble).

    I do believe that certain spaces are made sacred, and that some spaces come together that way, naturally. We are asked to create spaces a certain way, set them aside, divide and adorn and use that space in a way that helps us recall the work of God, and who he is. We are also asked to come away to a place where we can commune more deeply. I should lend you my Webber, sometime, so you can read about Ancient-Future worship and the art of worship through use of space. (And tell Mr. Charter I mentioned him, if you get home to St. B before me. You may not be able to get him to stop talking– he can out-talk Mr. Lewis if he’s on that subject.) I suspect Three Hills contains and is contained by elements of both, and they are cared for and respected in a way that maintains that sacred work.

    Photos? Yours? Stunning. This entire site combines elements in a way that makes me feel peace.

  2. swiftandwhimsy says:

    The photos in the posts are indeed mine, but the banner image is a stock image from the theme designer…hoping I can take a photo of my own to put up there soon.
    The top image in this post was taken on campus back “home,” the bottom one at Mission Hill winery.

    Will make sure to bring it up during Coffee & Whatnot if we make it to St. B’s 🙂
    Love to you, sister.

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